17th December: Wadworth, Beer Kitchen Wheat Beer. 5% ABV
From: Witlshire, England. Type: Belgian-style wheat beer, bottle. Source: Wadworth online
2012 has been a year where beer and food has made a breakthrough in the UK. Mainstream media has caught on. I’ve written about Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain on Channel 4 and Dan Saladino’s Food Programme report on BBC Radio 4. If beer is ever to take back its rightful place in the hearts and minds of the British public as an epicurean beverage, it will be through food.
It is also a sign that a “mainstream”, regional brewer in the UK wants to be in on the act. Wadworth’s Beer Kitchen beers are brewed specifically for drinking with food with a range of beer styles to go with a range of foods. This is just the kind of thing a US craft brewery might do. It’s so much more that trying to force the brewery’s standard range on normal pub grub.
I baked some salmon with some citric white wine (unwise) and a beurre blanc sauce made from the baking juices and fresh basil. Wheat beers often go well with fish; this, finding itself somewhere between the citrussy tang and refreshing light body in the Belgian vit style and the spiciness of a Bavarian Kristall would have been matched better without the wine and basil, but that’s the cook’s fault.
Wadworth’s Beer Kitchen Wheat Beer does seem like an English take on the wheat theme, or not so much a “take” as adding its own genes to the pool. I love what Wadworth’s are doing with this, and the other beers in the range; really adding credibility to the beer-and-food image. The only thing I’d change in the beer would be to have a bigger bottle.